Another 40 Tamil refugees to return from Tamil Nadu

secretary-photoAnother 40 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu, India will return to Sri Lanka tomorrow under the UNHCR facilitated voluntary repatriation programme.

The voluntary repatriation movements consisting 40 persons (13 families) are scheduled to arrive through Sri Lankan Airlines (UL132) from Trichy.

V. Sivagnanasothy, Secretary, Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs says the Government initiated action to encourage the voluntary refugee returnee programme and the current trend of increased refugee returnees is a sign of reconciliation and moving towards permanent peace.

Sivagnanasothy said that of the 40 refugee returnees 22 are males and 18 are females. These refugee returnees will get back to their homes in Trincomalee, Mannar, Kilinochchi, Jaffna and Vavuniya.

The UNHCR provides free air tickets, reintegration allowance of US$ 75 per person, transport allowance US$ 19 per person and monitory non-food grant of US$ 75 per family.

Since 2011, a total of 5165 refugees (1882 Families) have returned to Sri Lanka. Over 64,000 are stationed in 109 welfare camps in India.

Sivagnanasothy said that, the refugees who lost their houses will be provided with houses under the housing programme of the Ministry.

He also said that D.M. Swaminathan, the Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs had a discussion with the UNHCR and facilitated the process and increased the baggage allowance per person with assistance of the Ministry of Public Enterprise Development, Sri Lankan Airlines. (Colombo Gazette)